As Stephanie Gilmore celebrates her 32nd birthday today, we look back at Morgan Maassen’s exclusive photo series printed in Volume IV.
The pair have been one of our favourite surfer/photographer/filmmaker collaborations ever since 2011, and if you somehow missed how Morgan first met Steph, then go revisit our article right here.
Otherwise immerse yourself in some of the most iconic moments from their ongoing collaboration below.
Floating around at Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa this summer… there was nothing like having courtside seats to what i consider to be her best surfing ever, but with a shark sighting almost every day, i wouldn’t lie that i looked over my shoulder a few too many times.
Steph, floating over the roping lines of Salina Cruz, Mexico. We spent a week here with Kelly Slater and Matt Hoy, and absolutely scored. This was taken the day before the swell peaked, and we were already utterly exhausted and fried.
In-between sets on a flawless day at Pupukea, Hawaii. I love working with athletes where sometimes, even on peak days of their performance, the takeaway photo could be totally irrelevant of their sporting prowess.
Later the same evening at Pupukea, Hawaii. Long sessions on a variety of surf craft has always made this one of our favorite haunts. The powerful A-frame and tame crowds has continuously proven itself to be a photo studio in any conditions.
A perfect Mexican point break with no one out. Singlefin in hand, a cooler of Tecates in the car. This was the perfect day.
It’s pretty rare to see someone surf a singlefin, let alone surf it well, and especially rare if they are on the world tour.
Beer breaks in-between marathon sessions in Mexico. The car provides the only shade within twenty kilometers. I’d get my few waves in while she hides out from the brutal heat.
Last wave of the day after an incredible session. Steph lost her board on the inside and watched the wave of the trip roll through, unridden, growing in size as it devoured sand down the point. Frustrating, beautiful, strange, and an oddly cool moment testifying to how wild surfing truly is.
My rule of thumb has always been to stay busy, so even on the small and stormy days I’m always keen to shoot underwater, bodysurfing and the likes.
Impressing the locals in Sri Lanka. We didn’t score the biggest waves, but we lucked out on perfect weather and had a blast exploring the endless sand-bottom point breaks.
When we did find some suitable waves in Sri Lanka, the thrusters came out and Steph lit up the points.
Stormy days in Hawaii. We got so skunked this trip. Two weeks on the North Shore where every day rained harder than the last, the surf only grew in size until it was absolute victory at sea.
Pina Coladas in a mobster hotel in downtown Havana, Cuba. We spent almost two weeks relishing Cuba’s cuisine, music, and culture. No waves necessary… just a nice vacation from the sometimes insane surf world.
Power and finesse at last light on the North Shore of Hawaii. I’ve always admired surfers that paddle out and surf to their best ability, no fan fare. Steph owns Pupukea when she visits Hawaii, surfing all day, testing her limits and the cache of boards she amasses throughout the year.